A Glimpse Into Moles
Moles are not rodents. They belong to the mammal group known as insectivores. The mole is pound for pound one of the strongest mammals on earth. Their life expectancy is approximately 3 years due to its extremely high metabolic rate. The moles inability to store fat or food requires the mole to remain active year round. Moles eat only “live” food. They eat earthworms, insect larvae and any ground dwelling insects. Moles eat about 33% to 100% of their body weight each day. As the extremes of winter or summer arrive, the food sources burrow deeper into the ground. The mole simply follows the food. It is during these times that the homeowner sometimes gets a reprieve from the mole’s destructive surface activity.
Moles produce two types of runways in your yard. One runway runs just beneath the surface. These are feeding tunnels and appear as raised ridges running across your lawn. The second type of runway runs deeper and enables the moles to unite the feeding tunnels in a network. It is the soil excavated from the deep tunnels that homeowners find on their lawns, piled up in mounds that resemble little volcanoes. These mounds are a dead giveaway that your problem is not voles, but moles. Voles leave no mounds at all.
Moles and voles cause different types of damage. Moles make raised burrows in your lawn, ground cover, and shrub areas and their tunneling activity raises the soil into ridges. They are searching for worms and they feed on plant roots, flower bulbs, and the growing tissue of shrub and tree roots. Moles can tunnel up to 15 to 18 feet an hour and as much as 150-200 feet a day. Moles live on a cycle of 3 hours of rest for every 5 hours of work. They work around the clock on this cycle. Moles have only one litter a year. They give birth to two to five young in late spring.
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